There has long been a need for this classic set to be reissued as an entity and Decca has really made a scoop with the inclusion of the Everest recording of the 9th symphony.
The recordings are outstanding ones although there is some amount of background hiss in the 'Sea Symphony' and the low music of the 'Pastoral'; otherwise the great orchestral sounds of the 4th and 6th are truly memorable with Boult conducting in an inspired manner.
My personal favourites in this cycle remain the glorious Fifth which retains a special tinted glow of ethereality and the majestic 'Sinfonia antarctica' that really gains from Sir John Gielgud's majestic narration.
The Everest recording of the Ninth is also masterly and definitely remains the best version around for this work. The fascinating sense of discovery and occasion is not matched on subsequent recordings.
The set has been remastered to the highest 96kHz/24-bit standards and is truly a treasure to be recommended to all RVW enthusiasts.
Copyright © 2003, Gerald Fenech